The Magic Screen: animated shorts by Yuri Norstein
Yuri Norstein is one of the great artists in the history of animated film. His blend of whimsical and bold imagery, his keen eye for the allegorical, and his mastery of an array of techniques – from stop-motion to impressionistic pencil sketches and his patented “glass panel” animation – have written his name in animation folklore. Klassiki presents three of his Soviet-era shorts, each showcasing his unique understanding of the magical potential of moving images. The Battle of Kherzenets (1971), co-directed with Ivan Ivanov-Vano, draws on medieval frescos and opera in its recreation of the legend of “Russia’s Atlantis”. The Heron and the Crane (1974) is a humorous little tale of amorous indecision and self-destruction made with his wife Francesca Yarbusova. The Hedgehog in the Fog (1976) is one of Norstein’s most beloved creations: the seemingly simple, childlike tale of woodland creatures that opens up into something disturbing and sublime.
The Battle of Kherzenets
Directed by Yuri Norstein and Ivan Ivanov-Vano • 1971 • USSR/Russia
This animated short is based on the Russian legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, which was reputed to have disappeared under the waters of Lake Svetloyar to escape an attack by the Mongols. This medieval folk tale was adapted...
The Heron and the Crane
Directed by Yuri Norstein • 1974 • USSR/Russia
The Heron and the Crane is a humorous little tale of amorous indecision and self-destruction from animator supreme Yuri Norstein. The titular animals are engaged in a dance of romantic attraction and rejection, whimsical but melancholy. A collaborat...
Hedgehog in the Fog
Directed by Yuri Norstein • 1976 • USSR/Russia
Directed by master artist Yuri Norstein, Hedgehog in the Fog is one of the world’s most beloved animated classics. The film follows a hedgehog as he sets off to look at the stars with his friend, the bear cub. But, distracted by a beautiful white ho...
Notes on The Battle of Kherzhenets
Notes on The Heron and the Crane
Notes on Hedgehog in the Fog